Time Out Sydney

Natasha Khan talks Kath & Kim, and giving up music for pottery


It’s the first time we’ll be seeing Bat for Lashes live over here: has it just been economically difficult to do?
Well, yeah. It’s a long way, and when you’ve got a 14-strong crew its pretty difficult: flights, accommodations. But it’s been such an amazing thing to be playing because you do get that support to come out and – hopefully – put on a really good show

So is it the same band as for when you were touring 18 months ago?
Yes it is. The original line up of me and Ben [Christophers], Charlotte [Hatherley, ex-Ash] and Sarah [Jones, New Yong Pony Club] it’s the old school sort of crew back together, which is really nice.
So you’ve not seen them for a while – are they not on the forthcoming album?
No, I’m still in the initial stages of making it. I’ve been just recuperating from being away so long and trying to get back to normal enough to have some kind of actual experiences in life that you can start writing from.
So you didn’t go straight from touring [previous album] Two Suns back into writing mode?
No, no. I spent the initial part of that time just away from the whole touring experience. I was working with ballet dancers and I did some illustration for children’s books, I did some drawing courses and ceramics, all the other creative things I love doing. And then gradually the songs started coming along. And now I think I’ve worked out most of the music.
Will Vivid get the world premiere of some of the new music?
I think there will be one that’s completely brand new that’s coming out on the next record, and I might possibly be doing another one but I don’t want to give away too much. And then there’ll be sort of brand new string covers and things that I’ve maybe only done once beforeThere’s a few little treats that people will have never heard.
Has the process been difficult? Two Suns sounds like it was a painful experience to write.
It’s always painful! [laughs]. You can’t get away from that. This one was even worse. I thought I was never going to make another album again: it’s kind of like having a baby. You’re carrying it with you for so long and then delivering it to the world. But, it’s like everyone judges your baby [laughs]. “Oh, you’ve got a really ugly baby”. It’s just exhausting emotionally – and you know not getting a proper nights sleep in the tour bus for a year and half. I just thought like I just shouldn’t be doing music. I just couldn’t see where it was going to come, but when you do get a little gem of a song and things start happening it’s such a lovely feeling and gives you hope to carry on again.
That’s a relief. It’d be sort of awkward doing this interview if you’d said “I’m concentrating on ceramics now really: pretty much my whole Opera House show I’m just going to be glazing stuff.”
Yeah! “Check out my pots, they’re amazing!” [laughs] Can you imagine? It’d be great!
Have you been to Australia before?
I’ve been to Australia once when I was 18. I remember looking at the Sydney Opera House from outside and thinking “wow, that’s amazing.” And I would of never of thought that the next time I saw it I’d be playing in it. [laughs] When I was 18 I didn’t even know I was going to be doing music. It’s kind of an amazing progression really. We’ve got to be careful, me and Charlotte, not to break out our Australian accents.
Is that likely?
Literally, the whole last tour on the bus was Australian accents because we were obsessed with Kath & Kim and so we’d just be like [does atrocious Australian accent] “G’day mate!” I’m hoping it doesn’t come out because we’ll probably offend everyone. We’re big fans of the accent. [puts accent back on] “Oh look that man down the front, check out that hottie. He’s spunky!” [laughs] Do they use that word anymore?
Spunky’s a word of its period. To be honest, though, you sound more New Zealander than Australian.
Oh really? Shit. Why? Is it the vowels?
Yeah: Australian-to-New Zealand accent is basically straight vowel substitution.
Okay, I’ll work on it. I promise. I’ll do my homework. I think I got spunky from Neighbours in the ‘80s. Maybe I need to brush up.
Well, Guy Pearce is a total spunk.
He is a total spunk! 

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